In our modern times, if we had to churn our own butter, build our own houses or do our own sewing and weaving, a lot of us would be in big trouble.
On Saturday, thanks to the Animas Museum, you can travel back in time to learn how those things were done.
Jeff Hutchinson, director of Animas Museum, said Animas Museum Live is part of the Colorado History Live event, which is a monthlong series of events that highlight the area’s history.
“It sure makes sense that the Animas Museum does a pretty special event seeing as we are the history museum, or one of them, in our area. We’re kind of the stronghold for La Plata County’s overall history,” he said. “So we’ve come up with a Living History Day. There are three things you have to have to survive as a pioneer or Native American in this area: You need water, and you find that in the Animas River. You need shelter, which are buildings we have here on site, like the Joy family cabin. And then you need food. If you take any of those three things away, you die.”
To explain how people used to take care of those three needs, Animas Museum Live will interpret the history of those who lived here through Living History-type programs, like butter-making, sewing, spinning and weaving. Hutchinson said there will even be a program instructing people how to build an old log cabin.
Three crafters from the Hopi tribe will be on hand as well to demonstrate pottery-making.
“Those types of crafts were pretty important back in those days,” Hutchinson said, adding that there will also be music by the Six Dollar String Band from noon to 3 p.m., homemade tamales, children’s games and crafts, and beer, which is a special collaboration between Ska Brewing Co. and Animas Museum. Sheep will also be on hand as part of a “sheep to shawl” exhibit.
The museum also collaborated with the La Plata County Extension Office, which will be at the museum talking about how food has evolved over the years.
Animas Museum will also be open for people to check out its normal display, and, “The classroom will come alive, we’ll have our volunteers also dressed in classroom attire, and they’ll be demonstrating classroom programs and teaching some things about how classrooms operate, because we’re the old Animas City School, and so our classroom will be highlighted also,” Hutchinson said.
“Our mission is to keep La Plata County history alive. So this is one way we keep things alive and actually, of all the things we do really well throughout the entire year, in a five-hour period of time, we’re going to be trying to interpret all the great things that we do, all in one day,” he said. “We didn’t have to reinvent the wheel here; these are good things we’ve done for many, many years.”
Admission is free, but Hutchinson said donations will be accepted.
“I’m looking forward to the community coming out and see us and support us,” he said. “If you’re interested in history, this is a great place for it.”